T-SQL Tuesday #014 – RESOLUTIONS

Invitation and summary from Sean McCown.

OK, it’s time for TSQLTuesday again and Jen’s making me write something since we’re hosting this month.  So the topic is resolutions, and that in itself isn’t a topic that’s near and dear to me because frankly I just don’t believe in them.  I don’t think you have to wait until a new year begins to resolve to do something you’ve been meaning to do.  In fact, that pretty much dooms you to not completing it because it takes more than the turning of a calendar page and a romantic notion to accomplish something.  If it were really that easy, you would have done it already so it wouldn’t be a big deal.

Your new year can start anytime really.  Hell, doing a new year’s resolution doesn’t even line up with my review period at work, so if I relied on the new year to start something new I’d lose 3mos making good on what I’m supposed to accomplish for work.  People in IT quite often put personal goals in their yearly goals at work.  Things like getting certified, or perfecting a process, or taking management classes, etc are all things that are commonly found in your yearly goals at work.  So if you’re going to make some kind of resolution to do something, or to stop doing something, why not put it where it actually makes more sense… in your work goals.  Your bonus quite often relies on you completing your goals so it’s really the perfect place.  And it gives you a better excuse to have the resolution to begin with because you can use the bonus as motivation.

So even if you’re going to make a resolution at work, try to make it something you can actually do.  One of the biggest reasons for failure is someone will set a goal that’s completely ridiculous for them and when the goal starts slipping they get discouraged and just give up.  I’d like to get my MCM this year, but I don’t even have any of the lower certs yet.  Well, chances are you’re not going to make it dude.

2010 T-SQL Tuesdays

T-SQL Tuesday #13 – What the Business Says Is Not What the Business Wants

Invitation and roundup from Steve Jones.

I was giving a presentation recently and someone in the audience started to ask about why I recommended against a certain technique. Without getting into it, this person kept saying that she had to implement things her way since the “business” said they needed it done that way. However a little digging showed that the business didn’t really understand the technology. They were asking for a result, and she took them literally in how she implemented a process. A classic impedance mismatch.

I think we’ve all had situations that are similar. The business, the client, the customer, is asking for something, but they don’t know how to ask those of us building the technology. Or they don’t understand the implications of asking for something like “absolutely zero data loss” to be implemented.

The official topic this month is:

What issues have you had in interacting with the business to get your job done.

T-SQL Tuesday #012 – Why are DBA skills necessary?

Invitation and summary from Paul Randal.

Invitation to participate in T-SQL Tuesday #12 – Why are DBA skills necessary?

This month I’d like to step back from the deep technical stuff and ask “why are DBA skills necessary?”

I don’t want to color people’s opinions by giving my own yet, but some things to consider are:

  • What problems have you seen in your career that could have been avoided with some DBA skills?
  • At what point does a SQL Server installation need a real DBA to look after it?
  • How could DBA input help prevent design problems in data applications?
  • Should there be cross-over been developer skills and DBA skills? What about architects? Storage admins?
  • How can business continuity be affected by lack of DBA skills?
  • How much can we rely on auto-tuning to ensure performant work loads?
  • Is Microsoft doing enough to foster DBA skills as a point of excellence?
  • What about on other RDBMS platforms? What about no-SQL?

I could go on for hours… I’m really looking forward to seeing where you take this topic and I’m expecting some great posts.

T-SQL Tuesday #011 – Misconceptions in SQL Server

Invitation  from Sankar Reddy.

Why are so many Misconceptions in SQL Server?

SQL Server as a product is maturing with every new version since its inception and getting better and better over the years. But there seems to be lot of misunderstanding of some SQL Server concepts in the community and probably in my opinion its because of one or more items listed below.

1. While some information holds true in previous versions but they don’t hold true in newer versions (after some components were re-written, optimized).
2. Bugs in older versions are fixed in newer versions.
3. Taking the words out of context from someone’s publication/blogs etc…
4. Someone simply misunderstood the concepts.
5. Never realized the depth of the internals or the scope of the subject.
6. Taking marketing fluff as truth.
7. Too much generalization of the facts based on one or two incidents.

The possibilities for writing up a post on this topic invloving SQL Server are enormous even if you are a novice blogger or the industry expert on SQL Server. So get ready with your [misconceptions, myth-busters, de-mystifiers, do you know, back to basics, fact checking] posts on SQL Server and help the community learn more stuff while setting the facts straight.

I want to take a moment and request if you are working on a misconception that was already busted by someone else in the community and your approach is also very similar then please give credit to the person that did the work prior to you in your post.

T-SQL Tuesday #010 – Indexes

Invitation and roundup from Michael J. Swart.

Indexes are strange things. You never need to explicitly create one to create a fully-functional database, but if you want a database to perform well, they’re indispensable.

And there are so many aspects to write about! Like internals, covering, clustered, xml, fulltext, b-trees, hints, maintenance of, included columns, filtered, redundant, missing and tons more.

In fact my SQL Server 2008 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant (The first handy textbook I could grab) has an index entry on “indexes” that has 22 sub-entries.

 

T-SQL Tuesday #009: Beach Time

Invitation and roundup from Jason Brimhall.

Congratulations!  You have been chosen as a finalist in the Vacation Getaway package of a lifetime.  You will be flown to a resort destination of your choosing.  For this vacation, we only ask that you leave your cell-phone, laptop, twitter and facebook behind.  You have earned a break from the emergency Database repair calls and the urgent last-minute report requests.  To take advantage of this opportunity to put your “toes in the water and ass in the sand” and to feel like there’s “Not a worry in the world” and “life is good today,” just share what you did to earn it! (Lyrics courtesy of “Toes” by the Zac Brown Band)

What do you do as a DB professional to earn a little “Beach Time?”  What do you do prior to “Beach Time” to ensure that the beach time will not involve work?  The topic for this installment in TSQL2sday is to write about what you have done to be able to get a break from the job.  Beach time is usually vacation time, but is really anything that can create a break in the work-place.  If you automated a process to lighten your load – tell us about that process.  If you had to pull a 72-hr shift to ensure that your vacation plans would be unaltered by work – tell us about it.  If you turn off the cell-phone and pager and ignore email for that vacation – tell us about it.

T-SQL Tuesday #008: Gettin’ Schooled

Invitation and roundup from Robert Davis.

This month’s topic will be all about learning and teaching.

We return to our days of youth to take a fresh look at learning. How do you learn? How do you teach? What are you learning or teaching? Or the coup de grace post would be learning something new and telling us about it.

T-SQL Tuesday #007 – Summertime in the SQL

Invitation and roundup from Jorge Segarra.

In the last few months we’ve had the release of SQL Server 2008 R2 which brought along with it a slew of new features. So this T-SQL Tuesday I ask: What’s your favorite hot new feature in the R2 (I’ll be nice and include 2008 in general) release? Got some code that takes advantage of a new feature? Post it! Got an example of how PowerPivot let you slice and dice data you simply couldn’t before due to contraints? Show us! Make sure to apply your SPF 1433 and get to writing.

T-SQL Tuesday #006: “What About BLOB?”

Invitation and roundup from Michael Coles.

MSDN conveniently defines Large Object (“LOB”) data types for us: “LOB data types are those that exceed the maximum row size of 8 kilobytes (KB).”

There have been a several improvements in LOB data functionality in SQL Server 2008 (there were even some in SQL Server 2005).  In 2008 the XML, GEOMETRY, GEOGRAPHY data types can all hold 2.1 GB of data.  CLR data types can also hold up to 2.1 GB of data.  So the question of the day is how do you use LOB data?  Here are a few possible starting points:

  • LOB data storage, optimization, limitations, “under-the-hood”
  • Indexing, querying, optimization, tricks, tips, performance tuning of LOB data
  • Interesting uses/projects for LOB data types:
    • The MAX data types (VARCHAR(MAX), NVARCHAR(MAX), VARBINARY(MAX))
    • XML
    • GEOMETRY/GEOGRAPHY (spatial)
    • CLR data types
  • FILESTREAM hints, tips, tricks, .NET SqlFileStream Class

The only rule is that your topic has to involve SQL Server’s LOB data types in some form.  If you want to demonstrate handling LOB data in .NET, for instance, go for it.  If you want to demonstrate Oracle LOB data handling, this might not be the place to do it (although a comparison of the two might be interesting…) 🙂